Webinar on Microplastics: Health and Environmental Challenges / August 10, 2023

Webinar on Microplastics: Health and Environmental Challenges / August 10, 2023

General context

Microplastics are very small particles of plastics smaller than 5 mm in size composed of mixtures of polymers and functional additives that can be toxic. Three quarters of plastic waste was landfilled and became part of poorly managed waste streams, polluting the environment and especially the sea. Other relevant sources of microplastics are the washing of synthetic garments, which is responsible for a third of microplastics in the oceans.

Microplastics remain in the environment for decades, particularly in bodies of water such as the oceans. Microplastics can affect people's health either through their entry by air or by ingestion when entering human food chains. Its impact on health has been associated with various diseases mainly related to alterations in the endocrine system.

The health threat posed by microplastics has led the Pan American Health Organization to place them on the list of environmental determinants of health and promote good practices in eliminating and reducing single-use plastics.


The Webinar Oceans free of Plastic Waste, organized by DIRSA/AIDIS on April 27, 2023, was concluded in the need to address the problem of plastic waste and microplastics with a life cycle approach of this material.

Likewise, UNEP has urged to recognize the impact of microplastics due to their increasing increase in the environment.


To know and discuss about the challenges in Latin America and the Caribbean linked to microplastic waste, health and the environment.


The event will take place on Zoom, and it will feature simultaneous translation English Spanish.







Welcome remarks

Ana Boischio (PAHO), Jordi Pon (UNEP) y José Luis Inglese (AIDIS, president).



Juan Martin Koutoudjian (AIDIS, technical vicepresident).


How are microplastics affecting environmental quality?

Alberto Quesada (Mar Viva).


Challenges of plastic waste management to contribute to the reduction of microplastics

Marcos Alegre (AIDIS/DIRSA). Presentation based on the conclusions of the webinar Plastic-free Oceans, organized on April 27, 2023, by AIDIS/DIRSA.


Microplastics as health determinant and their impact on health

Luis Francisco Sánchez (OPS).


Panel "Microplastics: Health and Environmental Challenges"

Luis Francisco Sánchez Otero (PAHO), Alberto Quesada (Mar Viva) and Marcos Alegre (AIDIS/DIRSA).


Summary and closing

Laura Romero (OPS).